Handcrafted books, cards, stuffies, & other papercrafts

Woodbury, Connecticut | 7 Sales


Handcrafted books, cards, stuffies, & other papercrafts

Woodbury, Connecticut 7 Sales On Etsy since 2011

0 out of 5 stars (4)
Krissy and Dennis Maksymiw

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Krissy and Dennis Maksymiw

Announcement    Head on over to our brand new website and tell us what you think! We think it's pretty spiffy! http://kleinereisbar.com/


Head on over to our brand new website and tell us what you think! We think it's pretty spiffy! http://kleinereisbar.com/


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Unicorns, kittens, puppies, rainbows and books.

The Name

We are Kleiner Eisbär but you can call us Dennis and Krissy. Krissy started this Etsy account years before meeting and eventually falling madly in love with me. There was a famously adorable polar bear in Germany named Knut and he was referred to as "kleiner eisbär" (little polar bear). I believe that there are few things bigger than David Hasselhoff in Germany, and Knut is one of them. Yeah, Knut's that awesome.


I started binding books because I'm selfish. I'm not going to go on about how much I loved books as a kid (I did) and how I read constantly (I don't). No, I started binding books because my wife and I were getting married (at the zoo) and we wanted something different.

We were tired of seeing so many traditional (read: silver) frames, albums, and guestbooks and wanted something unique to us. So with about a month to spare, I decided to order supplies and make a square format blank guestbook for our guests. Instead of the normal messages, we encouraged our guests to draw us pictures, and we left them all sorts of drawing utensils. Throughout the course of the afternoon, the book, colored pencils, and markers slowly drifted about from person to person until just about everybody had drawn us a picture. And it is one of our favorite mementos from our wedding;.

Each book we make is made by hand from hand-selected materials. Our paper and boards are cut by me from larger master sheets and then folded, sewn, and bound by hand according to the particular binding.

I'm a paper fanatic, so whenever possible I like to find fun or unique papers to use such as paper made from banana leaves, or paper screenprinted by hand in Zimbabwe. In the future, we hope to screen our own custom end papers and covers as we expand our knowledge of printmaking and binding. In the distant future, we'd like to implement letterpress into our bindings.

So...What Exactly Does Krissy Do Again?

I can't remember a time when art was not a part of my life. Some of my earliest memories pertaining to art were watching Bob Ross on PBS. One of the things that always stuck with me was that they included the names of the colors Mr. Ross used on the bottom of the screen. Did my kid self know what phthalo green was? Not exactly, but it didn't really matter. I was hooked on colors. I would also eventually develop an obsession with arranging items in ROYGBIV order. No box of Crayolas was (is) safe from this obsession, And it doesn't stop at crayons.

Going beyond Bob Ross I have fond memories of crafting and creating with my mom. Whether it was Play-Doh, drawing, making towns from empty food boxes, creation was a constant in my young life. Oh, and somewhere along the way I began a life long admiration for Andy Warhol.

Fast forward to pre-adolescence and adolescence. I was introduced to punk rock and DIY culture. Mixed tapes, cut and paste, zines, and everything associated with it cemented the whole lifestyle of just simply doing it yourself for me. Somewhere down the line I retired my saddle shoes, blue and black checkered tights, and other assorted oddball clothes. But the DIY lifestyle never left me. I eventually had a stint in art school before settling on getting a degree in early childhood education.

During the school year I work at a Reggio Inspired program with preschoolers. I am a co-teacher in the toddler room. I am also the toddler atelierista. One of my greatest joys is working with young children and bringing art into their lives.

As an artist, I don't identify as one thing. Color and texture are a big part of what I do. I like to paint, needle felt, block print, and sew. Sometimes I incorporate knitting and inks into my works. The wind could blow a different direction and change what I might be doing for awhile.

Right now, needle felting is my thing. I look forward to painting again in the near future and learning a new skill along the way. Oh, and I do help Dennis with some of the book making. Except, I don't like to measure things and I can't cut a straight line worth a damn. That's all him.

The Moral of the Story...

Mostly, we are just two kids madly in love with each other making as many things together as we can. We are fun, quiet, a bit nerdy and think that the world needs more rainbows, unicorns, puppies, and kittens. And books.

Shop members

  • Dennis

    Owner, Maker, Designer, Bookbinder Extraordinaire

    I'm just a dude making books, pulling prints, and causing craftacular trouble with my other half. I stated making books because we needed a wedding guestbook that wasn't boring and didn't suck. I've never looked back since—well, maybe in the dark.

  • Krissy

    Owner, Maker, Designer, Needle Felter

    Krissy is my wonderful, amazing wife and she felts wool like a boss. She takes great care felting wool into amazing pieces of art, only stabbing herself with the barbed needle occasionally. We are terribly, madly in love with one another.

  • Sophie

    Book Model, Resident Baby

    Sophie is our resident book model. We're not necessarily the best sales people, so we resort to cheap ploys, like adorable babies, to help us. At least we're honest about it though, right? Sophie likes long walks on the beach and unicorns.

  • Jasper

    Curator, Quality Assurance, Resident Piggy

    I'm Jasper—a guinea pig—if you haven't guessed. Jasper Johns was named after me. His parents saw me strolling around the floor of the Amazonian Rain forest, got to know me and promised to name their child after me. I make sure everything looks good.

Shop policies

Last updated on September 19, 2011
Welcome and thanks for visiting our shop!

We are a husband and wife team passionate about art, all things handmade, the environment, milk, and children.

As with all handmade items, there will be variations even when making multiples of the same item, but that is part of their charm.

Get to know us on our blog here:

or you can read Dennis' blog which contains anything from art, to music lyric analyses, to political diatribes, to milk manifestos here:

Thanks for stopping by! Don't be a stranger!

Accepted payment methods

Accepts Etsy Gift Cards and Etsy Credits
  • Money Order
Returns and exchanges
We strive to make great products that everyone loves, but if you need a refund contact us and let us know why. We'd be happy to make it right. If you simply just want a refund, let us know within seven days and send us the product back.

- We will not refund your shipping and handling, nor pay for you to ship it back.
- We will not refund your order until we receive our product back, in its original condition.
- We recommend adding tracking to returns so you can be sure when we receive the product.

Custom orders cannot be refunded.
Connecticut residents will have their purchases taxes at a rate of 6.35% per state law. We remit this payment to the CT DRS, it doesn't go into our pockets.

We accept PayPal and money orders. If you cannot pay by either of these methods, contact us and we will try to figure out some other form of payment for you.

Don't have a PayPal account? You do not have to have a PayPal Account to use your credit card or bank account to pay. When you checkout, choose Paypal, then select the option "I do not have a PayPal account", then click "continue" and follow the instructions.

Payment must be received within three days or we will cancel the order and relist the item. If you run into some snafu, just let us know and we'll be happy to work with you.
Please double check the shipping information you give us. We can't be responsible for typos on your part.

All orders will be shipped via USPS Parcel Post the next business/mail day after payment is received.
If you wish to upgrade to priority mail, please contact us before purchasing so we can set that up.

We do not include insurance, but we are willing to offer it if you'd like. We are not responsible for the postal service and unfortunately sometimes things happen to packages. If you purchase insurance and your product is damaged, you must take it up with the USPS. We'd be glad to help you in any way we can with this.

A tracking number and delivery confirmation is included with all orders and will be sent as soon as your order is shipped.

International customers are responsible for any duties or tariffs; we won't mark an item as a gift. Sorry.
*If Ordering multiple items, feel free to convo us beforehand. We might be able to come up with a shipping price more tailored to your order.
Additional policies and FAQs
If you would like to purchase an item as a gift, let us know beforehand. We'd be happy to offer gift wrapping and ship to either your address or to the recipient free of charge.

If you'd like us to send directly to your gift recipient, we'll send you photos of the package before sending it out as a courtesy.

If you'd like to request a custom order just convo us, with the following link:
include any details you'd like and we'll help design the perfect product for you.

We love happy customers, and nothing feels quite as good as seeing someone smile when they get our product. We also know that marketplaces like Etsy rely on positive Feedback, so we will wait for the buyer to leave feedback first so we know you are happy with the product and will then leave positive feedback for you as well.

Also, after leaving feedback, you can attach an appreciation photo to your feedback. Like we said, we love seeing people smile when they get one of our products. I think you can do the math.

We are open to wholesalers or consignments. Contact us for more information.

If you have any questions, comments, requests, critiques, or just a witty salutation, we'd love to hear from you. We're little polar bears; we don't bite.

- Dennis & Krissy, Kleiner Eisbär